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sweeper22 01-26-2010 07:46 PM

Ruger 77 vs Weatherby Vanguard
I'm looking at getting a decent bolt action 25-06 for some long range target practice, maybe a little varmint hunting. I think I've settled on the Weatherby Vanguard as the best fit in a new rifle, but have an opportunity to buy a like new stainless Ruger 77 MKII for $350.

I know retail price on the Ruger is quite a bit higher, but is it actually the better rifle?

R-BOLT 01-26-2010 08:32 PM

It is in my books and I voted with my check book. I was at the same point with a 7mm-08. The bolt of the Ruger and good past experence with Ruger 77 series won out. The Ruger 77 will last you a lifetime. I have owned them in 220 swift, 7mm mag, and now 7mm-08. The trigger on the Hawkeye series is the best of the series so far.

stalkingbear 01-26-2010 08:34 PM

I don't think you could go wrong with either. For 350 for the rifle that would allow you to buy a better quality scope without breaking your wallet. 1 of the things I look at when buying a used rifle is-was the barrel broken in right? How often/how good has it been cleaned? The Vanguard offers a 1MOA accuracy guarantee if I'm not wrong.

Dillinger 01-26-2010 08:38 PM

I think the Vanguard, which is actually a HOWA 1500, action is a superior product right from the get go.

Now, Ruger may have some other features that add to their appeal, but as far as actions go, the Howa/Vanguard is a one piece, CNC machined, flat bottom action that is rock stable.

The bolt and bolt handle are one piece, CNC machined as well, so it's built for stout.

This thread does not address the Ruger, but it has some information about the Howa and what goes into a building a tack driving rifle.

Best of luck with your selection. I hope you get what you are looking for at a good price.


sweeper22 01-26-2010 09:10 PM

Thanks for the feedback. Most of my experience is with handguns, so I'm learning as I go and doing plenty of research. I saw this package deal on Bud's that seemed like a nice launching point. Adequate, but not great Bushnell Banner scope...but I figure it'd probably make a fine rimfire scope if I upgraded, so the package deal makes some sense.

What do you guys think of the 25-06 as a caliber choice for mostly extended target shooting? Again, the caliber is more of an educated guess on my part than anything else.

cpttango30 01-26-2010 09:15 PM

Ruger is my second most favorite rifle. My dad has 4 of the M7 MkII VT. Not a single one shoots bigger than 1/5" 5 shot groups at 100 yards. The 204 shoots 3/8" groups with the 32 gr V-Max bullets.

I would say Ruger is a better product just because it is MADE IN THE USA.

While both are good rifles I think the Ruger is a very big step above the Howa. That is just me.

R-BOLT 01-26-2010 10:07 PM

If I was going to shoot targets and small game, I would go for less expensive ammo such as .223. The drawback would be, in some states not a legal round for deer and larger game. 25-06 is a great all around load though for what you are looking at and some larger game.

Txhillbilly 01-27-2010 02:40 AM

The 25/06 is a great caliber. It is almost the perfect whitetail and pronghorn caliber.It shoots fast & flat. It isn't the cheapest thing for target shooting though,even if you reload the brass is expensive.I just paid around $53 for a bag of it!

What kind of range will you be shooting? There are several smaller calibers that would be cheaper to shoot,and still reach out several hundred yards very accurately. 22-250 & 223 are great for targets and varmits.

As far as what brand to buy,I would take the Weatherby over the Ruger anyday.I have never been impressed by any Ruger bolt action rifle,and I know the Weatherby's are good shooters.

sweeper22 01-27-2010 03:32 AM

I might use it for hunting at some point, but I'm not a hunter by any means. I'd just like a quality bolt action to accumilate some distance skills. The place where I shoot has a 12" steel plate at about 700yd that I'd like to play with a little. It would be nice to experiment with all distances between 100-1000yards...see where my skills are, what to improve, learn about bullet drop, scope adjustments, etc. It sounds like the 25-06 might be ideal for this, and also of course a nice varmint gun (as opposed to a 308). The other caliber that made some sense was a 243.

I was under the impression that the .223 was a little distance challenged beyond 300-400yds. What's the range on the 22-250?

R-BOLT 01-27-2010 03:07 PM

I shoot some Federal Fusion ammunition. Their Fusion web site will let you compare calibers very easy. It will show their velocity at several yardage points, bullet drop at 100 and 200 yd zeros, energy at different yardage points, and also wind drift. It was a bit of suprise to me, when I first looked at the .223 charts it is a heck of a small round that stacks up well to a 25-06 at longer yards. I sold a mini-14 and plan on replacing it at a later date with a CZ 527 carbine in a .223 (I have one now in 7.62X39 and enjoy the heck out of shooting it). I have many larger rifles, so the shooting of larger game would not deter me any.

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